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Archive for the ‘Suzi Quatro’ Category

Holiday Gift Guide Review: Suzi Quatro, “The Girl from Detroit City”

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SuziSusan Kay Quatro, a.k.a. Suzi Quatro, has sold 55 million singles and LPs, scored five U.K. Top 10s  and twelve Top 50s including two chart-toppers, followed in the footsteps of Ethel Merman onstage, appeared on television’s Happy Days, and influenced a “Who’s Who” including Joan Jett and The Go-Go’s.  Quatro is billed as The Girl from Detroit City on her first-ever retrospective box set which has been recently released by Cherry Red Records.  This 4-CD, 82-song book-style box is packed with unreleased material.  It tracks Quatro’s singular career as a rock-and-roller from her first release, at 14 years old, as a member of the all-girl band with the provocative name of The Pleasure Seekers, all the way through the present day.  The first three discs trace a chronological arc, while the fourth rounds up various rarities and never-before-heard recordings dating as far back as the beginning of her solo career.

For most, Suzi Quatro’s story begins when Mickie Most (The Animals, Lulu, Donovan) saw her in Detroit in 1971.  The producer’s discovery paved the way for the transatlantic crossing that made the singer-songwriter as much a product of England as her native America.  But The Girl from Detroit City starts earlier, with 1965’s “What a Way to Die” and the fourteen-year old Suzi, credibly rocking out in proto-punk garage style.  Her throaty drawl was already well in place as well as her talent on the bass.  But when the band (also including her sisters Arlene and Patti) was signed to Mercury Records, studio players were called in to augment their sound.  Two Mercury-era tracks show the versatility of The Pleasure Seekers, however.  George Fischoff and Carole Bayer (later to add Sager to her surname) supplied the brassy girl-pop of 1967’s regional hit “Light of Love.”  Two more veteran songwriters, Jerry Ross and Mort Shuman, penned the following year’s uptempo “Locked in Your Love,” which never made it past the test pressing stage but happily is included here.

This collection hits all of the high points of Quatro’s impressive career including her 1973 solo debut single, “Rolling Stone,” produced by Most and featuring Peter Frampton on guitar, and its follow-up, “Can the Can,” which just happened to be her first U.K. No. 1.  Written and produced by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, “Can” – as well as follow-ups like “48 Crash,” “Glycerine Queen,” and the No. 1 “Devil Gate Drive” – fit snugly into the glam rock ethos.  The Elvis-inspired, black leather-clad Suzi didn’t particularly identify with the glitzy likes of Alvin Stardust, Bowie and Bolan, but the crunchy guitars, stomping beat and high-pitched vocals of her most successful singles had the self-assured swagger of glam’s greatest.  A particular treat are the pre-“Rolling Stone” cuts produced by Most which premiere on Disc Four of the box, in which both artist and producer are searching for a sound.  When Most paired Quatro with Chapman and Chinn, they certainly found it!

Quatro developed her distinctive and identifiable style early on, but she wasn’t averse to sonic experimentation, either.  “Roman Fingers” (the B-side of the glammed-out rock of U.K. Top 20 hit “Daytona Demon”) has a “Stuck in the Middle with You”-esque, country-influenced vibe.  Quatro co-wrote “Roman Fingers” as part of the agreement that saw her writing her own flips when Chapman and Chinn were churning out A-sides.  Quatro had a clear grasp on her sound, as evidenced by “In the Morning,” another worthy B-side that could easily have been on the other side of the 45.

But even with such a well-defined sound, Quatro knew when it was time to expand her horizons.  As it progresses chronologically over its four discs, The Girl from Detroit City showcases the singer’s mastery of other styles.  The funky bassline of 1975’s “Your Mamma Won’t Like Me” augured for a new sound as did the smoking, insinuating horns of “I Bit Off More Than I Could Chew.”  From the Your Mamma Won’t Like Me album of the same year, the singer embraced a big string sound on “Michael.”

There’s more after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 19, 2014 at 14:05

Release Round-Up: Week of October 21

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Ghostbusters Stay Puft

Ray Parker Jr. & Run-DMC, Ghostbusters: Stay Puft Edition Super Deluxe Vinyl (Legacy)

The Marshmallow Man is back!  The Stay Puft Super Deluxe Edition Vinyl is a limited edition collectible that every Ghostbusters fan will want to take home!  Co-produced by The Second Disc’s Mike Duquette, this set contains the No. 1 hit single “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. and the “Ghostbusters” rap by Run-DMC for the film’s hit sequel, with both tracks on a white 12” single in a deluxe, puffy, package that smells like marshmallows!

Suzi

Suzi Quatro, The Girl from Detroit City (Cherry Red) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Cherry Red has a 4-CD, 82-track overview of the glam rock icon (and Happy Days star)’s career, including her early, 60s pop sides, her prime hitmaking period, and even her forays into musical theatre!  Joe will have a full review up soon!

Hollies - 50 at Fifty

The Hollies, 50 at Fifty (Parlophone/Rhino) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This new 3-CD Hollies anthology, marking the harmony purveyors’ 50th year of recording, arrived in the U.K. last month but today gets its American release from Rhino.

Oldfield Box

Mike Oldfield, The Studio Albums 1992-2003 (Rhino) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Rhino boxes up eight Oldfield albums in one CD box set, including three Tubular Bells variations.

Spandau

Spandau Ballet, The Very Best of Spandau Ballet: The Story (Rhino)

The New Romantic hitmakers behind “True” look back on their career with this set, available in 1-CD and 2-CD iterations.

1-CD: Amazon U.S.  / Amazon U.K.

2-CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. 

Ian Hunter - All American

Ian Hunter, All-American Alien Boy (Varese Sarabande) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Varese is restoring the second solo album from Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter to print in the U.S. with the six bonus tracks first appended to the 30th anniversary edition.  The 1976 album features personnel including Jaco Pastorius, David Sanborn, Lew Soloff, Auyn and the members of Queen!  Watch this space for an exciting opportunity to WIN a copy of this reissue!

Gavin DeGraw

Gavin DeGraw, Finest Hour: The Best of Gavin DeGraw (RCA) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The singer-songwriter and Dancing with the Stars contestant has an 11-track compilation, featuring producer Max Martin’s previously unreleased version of “In Love with a Girl” and a new version of “Finest Hour.”

Melody Road

Neil Diamond, Melody Road (Capitol) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Neil Diamond returns with his 32nd studio album and first for Capitol, and its 12 songs in the artist’s vintage style add up to a warmly nostalgic trip for longtime fans.  Target has an exclusive edition with two bonus tracks which may be outtakes from his 2010 covers project Dreams: renditions of George Harrison’s “Something” and Harry Nilsson’s”Remember,” and this edition is also available as an import at this link.  Look for my review of Melody Road soon!

EWF - Holiday

Earth, Wind & Fire, Holiday (Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The venerable R&B outfit offers its first-ever holiday album, with favorites like “Winter Wonderland” and “Sleigh Ride” alongside reworked versions of “September” (yup, it’s “December”!) and “Happy Feelin'” – which this joyous celebration just might give you!

Scott Walker - Soused

Scott Walker and Sunn O))), Soused (4AD) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The sixties pop crooner-turned-avant garde hero Scott Walker teams up with California drone metal band Sunn O))) for a 5-track, 50-minute record that pushes the envelope for both artists.  We’re marking this unusual release this week with a look back at the entirety of Walker’s career in a special two-part Back Tracks retrospective beginning tomorrow!

Aretha - Diva

Aretha Franklin, Sings the Great Diva Classics (RCA) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The Queen of Soul reunites with Clive Davis for her latest studio album, a tribute to her fellow divas – then and now – including Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Dinah Washington and Adele!

Billy Idol - Kings and Queens

Billy Idol, Kings and Queens of the Underground (Kobalt) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Billy Idol is back with his rebel yell and sneer intact on his first album since 2005, produced by Trevor Horn and Greg Kurstin!

Annie Lennox - Nostalgia

Annie Lennox, Nostalgia (Blue Note) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Annie Lennox usually hasn’t been one to bask in nostalgia, but here she is, bringing her own spin to such Great American Songbook standards as “Summertime” and “God Bless the Child.” The Amazon U.S.-exclusive edition has a bonus disc featuring a Lennox interview and a live version of blues staple “I Put a Spell on You.”

Release Round-Up: Week of March 22

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Aretha Franklin, Take a Look: Complete on Columbia (Columbia/Legacy)

Before she was the Queen of Soul on Atlantic, she cut her teeth in the genre on Columbia. Eleven CDs and a DVD tell the tale. (Official site)

Soundgarden, Live on I-5 (A&M/UMe)

The recently-reunited grunge band commemorates their 1996 tour on this disc. (Official site)

Sam the Sham and The Pharoahs, The MGM Singles (Sundazed)

Every A and B-side by the “Wooly Bully” band in remastered monaural sound. (Sundazed)

A Flock of Seagulls, A Flock of Seagulls Dream Come True: Expanded Editions (Cherry Pop)

The first and last albums by the original lineup of the band are expanded with B-sides and remixes by Cherry Pop in the United Kingdom. The first one has the songs everybody loves, including “I Ran” and “Space Age Love Song.” (Cherry Pop)

Sir Douglas Quintet, The Mono Singles ’68-’72 (Sundazed)

Another Sundazed mono singles compilation for the week, compiling the Sir Douglas Quartet’s single sides on the Smash, Philips and Mercury labels, including hits “She’s About a Woman” and “Mendocino.” (Sundazed)

Suzi Quatro, Suzi Quatro / Quatro: Expanded Editions (7Ts)

The one-time Leather Tuscadero’s first two albums, produced by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, are expanded by U.K. label 7Ts to include non-LP single sides and more. (7Ts)

Josh Turner/Billy Currington, ICON (MCA Nashville/Mercury/UMe)

Two modern country stars get their own entries in Universal’s budget compilation. (Amazon: Turner, Currington)

James Taylor, Walking Man: 24 KT Gold CD (Audio Fidelity)

One of Taylor’s lesser-known albums is remastered by Steve Hoffman. (Audio Fidelity)

Chicago, Chicago VI (Vinyl) (Friday Music)

A 180-gram audiophile reissue of the band’s 1973 album, featuring “Feeling Stronger Every Day” and “Just You N’ Me.” (Friday Music)

Cherry Red Reissues A-Plenty in March

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As if the impressive release schedule from Big Break Records wasn’t enough to excite catalogue fans, next month will see another impressive wave of reissues from other labels in the Cherry Red family. 7Ts, Cherry Pop and Soul Music are all planning some impressive remastered and expanded discs which will bring some pop, rock and R&B acts from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s back into print.

From 7Ts comes expansions of the first two LPs by singer/actress Suzi Quatro. While these two glam-rock LPs attracted little attention in the U.S., they were both considerably successful in Europe. (Quatro’s Stateside success began with a guest role as Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days and culminated in the Top 5 hit “Stumblin’ In” in 1979.) These reissues of Suzi Quatro (1973) and Quatro (1974) are augmented with non-LP singles and B-sides, which along with the albums themselves were largely written and produced by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn (who wrote another big hit around the same time, Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz,” and would write or co-write plenty of hits in the ’80s for Pat Benatar, Huey Lewis and The News and Tina Turner).

Cherry Pop has prepped reissues of both the first and last albums by the classic line-up of A Flock of Seagulls. The quintessential ’80s band, known for both the worldwide (except for the band’s native U.K.) hit “I Ran” and lead singer/keyboardist Mike Score’s distinctive haircut, will see expanded versions of the band’s self-titled 1982 debut and 1986’s Dream Come True, all augmented with bonus B-sides and remixes. (The band released one last album in 1995, The Light at the End of the World, but Mike Score was the only original member involved.)

Finally, the Soul Music label has four albums coming back into print. Peabo Bryson’s first two albums for Capitol (his second and third overall), Reaching for the Sky (1977) and Crosswinds (1978), will be released together as a two-disc set with three U.S. single edits as bonus tracks. The label will also issue straight remasters of Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music, the 1973 LP by Billy Preston, and I’m on Your Side (1991), the most recent pop album by Jennifer Holliday, famed for her Tony-winning turn in Dreamgirls and the hit “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”

The Soul Music titles have a U.K. release date of March 14, while the rest hit U.K. shops a week later. Full track lists and order links are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 24, 2011 at 13:16